On the Interaction between ISA and Cardinality Constraints

Diego Calvanese and Maurizio Lenzerini

Proc. of the 10th IEEE Int. Conf. on Data Engineering (ICDE 1994). 1994.

ISA and cardinality constraints are among the most interesting types of constraints in data models. ISA constraints are used to establish several forms of containment among classes, and are receiving great attention in moving to object-oriented data models, where classes are organized in hierarchies based on a generalization/specialization principle. Cardinality constraints impose restrictions on the number of links of a certain type involving every instance of a given class, and can be used for representing several forms of dependencies beteewn classes, including functional and existence dependencies. While the formal properties of each type of constraints are now well understood, little is known of their interaction. The goal of this paper is to present an effective method for reasoning about a set of ISA and cardinality constraints in the context of a simple data model based on the notions of classes and relationships. In particular, the method allows one both to verify the satisfiability of a schema and to check whether a schema implies a given constraint of any of the two kinds. We prove that the method is sound and complete, thus showing that the reasoning problem for ISA and cardinality constraints is decidable.

   title = "On the Interaction between ISA and Cardinality Constraints",
   year = "1994",
   author = "Diego Calvanese and Maurizio Lenzerini",
   booktitle = "Proc. of the 10th IEEE Int. Conf. on Data Engineering
(ICDE 1994)",
   pages = "204--213",
   publisher = "IEEE Computer Society Press",
   doi = "10.1109/ICDE.1994.283032",
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